An AAPI Month for the Books!

An AAPI Month for the Books!

This past AAPI month was truly special at Budokan. All May long, there were special events, clinics, and activities for our Budo-community to enjoy! We are so thankful for our many amazing partners that made it possible to have all of these activations at our facility. 


Celebrating AAPI Month 

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month happens every May, where communities, organizations, and individuals share and uplift AAPI histories, stories, voices, art, and more. Budokan’s Communications Intern, Charlene Tonai Din, created a special AAPI month graphic series on our Instagram in honor of this celebration. Throughout the month, she highlighted AAPI media, Little Tokyo, small businesses, culture, and community. You can check out her amazing work by clicking the links below the images!

Media & Entertainment // Support Small, Local, & Legacy // Reconnect with Our Cultural Roots // Spending Time in Community


Special Art Installations


For both AAPI month and our Kibō Nobori event this year, we had some special art installations on display at our facility. We had a sculpture by Amabelle Aguiluz in our courtyard, painting prints by Shizuka Kusayanagi in the lobby, and flag installations by Faith-Ann Kiwa Young in the outdoor plaza and playground.

Amabelle Aguiluza is a Filipina American multidisciplinary artist, weaver, and art instructor. Her work is deeply connected to the body, nature, and the healing power of plant medicines. She uses both traditional and unconventional textile techniques to transform and repurpose discarded fiber materials into sculptures, weavings, and site-specific installations.

Shizuka Kusayanagi is a multi-talented, LA-based artist who expresses herself in a variety of mediums from painting, printmaking, ceramics, to writing. She also creates experiences, “as a modality to connect with and care for oneself and others.” Not only was her work on display in the lobby, but she also taught a Japanese marbling workshop at the Kibō Nobori event.

Kibō Nobori (きぼう のぼり) translates to “hope flags.” Faith-Ann Young created this art installation and event to honor her culture and spread hope and joy within the community. She says, “I’m passionate about creating colorful, immersive art and spaces, where people can reflect, connect, and heal.”


Kibō Nobori

On Saturday, May 4th, 2024, Terasaki Budokan hosted the third annual Kibō Nobori festival, a celebration of the Japanese holiday Children’s Day. This was a free event open for the community to enjoy. Kibō Nobori, planned in partnership between Terasaki Budokan, co-mrkt, artist Faith-Ann Kiwa Young, and Tanoshii Project, and sponsored by Angel City Football Club, Los Angeles Golf Club, Composer Talk, and Sanzo was a fun-filled day featuring art, music, performances, a marketplace, food, and activities for the whole family.

First-time attendee Courtney said, “This was my first time coming to Kibō with our one-year-old, and we had such a great time! There were plenty of activities and performances we were able to enjoy and so many memories we were able to make. We can’t wait to come back next year!”

You can read our full write-up about Children’s Day by clicking here!


BudoComedy Show

“When you can relate to someone else’s experience through humor, it can be so powerful,” said Derek Mio, organizer of the popular BudoComedy Show at Terasaki Budokan. In May 2022, in reaction to recent violence directed towards the AAPI community and in celebration of AAPI month, Mio sought to bring people together in a community space to heal through humor. With a lineup of comedians of color, the first show was a huge success. “It feels rewarding to throw an event that can bring people together to experience something new,” shared Mio.

On May 4th, the legacy of BudoComedy continued at Budokan with the 5th installation of the show. The BudoComedy Show is not only about a night of stand-up comedy, but is also about strengthening ties within Little Tokyo and the larger Asian American community. “It’s been great to host in a space that the community can support even after the show is over,” Derek Mio reflected.


Free Youth Clinics 

Throughout the month of May, Budokan had friends from other organizations come over and host free sports clinics for local youth in the community. We kicked things off with a Jr. Clippers clinic, where they hosted an AANHPI Month youth basketball clinic. Next, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) organized a soccer clinic for kids aged 5-12. LA Galaxy and LA Kings joined forces to bring soccer and ball hockey to our gym for kids to enjoy, and SVVAN Origami taught fun origami activities. Finally, Angel City Football Club closed off the month with one last soccer clinic!


Taking it to the Field!

Alongside these clinics, LA Galaxy and LAFC invited Budokan and kids from LTSC’s Mi CASA program, a free after-school program hosted out of Budokan for low-income youth, to be featured and make memories! At LAFC, the kids got some awesome hats, watched the match, met players, and got to kick field goals! At LA Galaxy, LTSC was named “Community Partner of the Match” by LA Galaxy with a focus on the work we do at Terasaki Budokan. Budokan Director, Ryan Lee, and baby Torey nailed the interview and the LTSC booth was a huge hit. 

Thank you to everyone who celebrated AAPI month with Budokan this past May!

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